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Pop/Rock - Released October 25, 2005 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

An honest title for this disc would be Several #1's, a Bunch of Top Tens, and a Couple New Songs, but #1's obviously has a greater -- if false -- ring to it. #1's isn't formatted any differently than scores of other anthologies packaged in time for the holiday shopping season, but it's also timely in that it comes after four Destiny's Child albums, all of which produced a handful of hits and roughly twice as much filler. Few problems could be had with the track selection. Containing each of Destiny's Child's charting singles, with the exception of "Brown Eyes" and the inconsequential "8 Days of Christmas," the disc reaffirms that Destiny's Child released some of the biggest R&B singles of the late '90s and early 2000s. For instance, you didn't have to be a fan of R&B, or even music, to cross paths with the likes of "Survivor" -- an overblown song with a form of success that had more to do with its mega-anthem quality and opportunistic title (the show of the same title was extremely popular at the time). As strategic as Destiny's Child were, they still have enough substance in their discography to place them as one of the best R&B groups of the '90s and early 2000s. Though they didn't follow the previous top female R&B group, TLC, with nearly as much brilliance or finesse, they've left behind several singles that will be remembered for something other than their mainstream success. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released May 1, 2001 | Columbia

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R&B - Released July 27, 1999 | Columbia

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 1, 2001 | Columbia

Nobody would have predicted that Destiny's Child would rule over the contemporary R&B scene in the beginning of the new millennium -- not after "Bills, Bills, Bills" hit the top of the charts, not even after "Say My Name" became an anthem in 2000. But nobody challenged their position, so they reigned supreme in the early 2000s, eventually inheriting the title of the great girl group of their era. Since they had a couple of pretty good singles, namely the aforementioned pair, most conceded them that position, particularly since they seemed more talented than their peers, but Survivor, their first album as full-fledged superstars -- also their first album since most of the group disappeared due to managerial conflicts -- is as contrived and calculated as a Mariah Carey record, only without the joy. This is a determined, bullheaded record, intent on proving Destiny's Child has artistic merit largely because the group survived internal strife. So, whatever pop kitsch references the title may have -- and it's hard not to see it as an attempt to tap into the American public's insatiable love for CBS' brilliant reality TV show of the same name -- the title is certainly heartfelt, as the members of Destiny's Child want to illustrate that they are indeed survivors. This doggedness may fit on occasion, as on "Independent Women, Pt. 1," the theme to Charlie's Angels, but it usually takes precedence over the music -- such as on the title track, a flat-out terrible song and the worst the group has ever recorded. "Survivor" is painfully labored, stuttering over a halting melody that Beyoncé Knowles breathlessly pushes to absolutely nowhere, working it so hard that it's difficult to listen. Unfortunately, that pattern repeats itself way too often on Survivor, as the group undercuts its seductive mainstream R&B with repellent pandering and naked ambition. This isn't even the case where you can rely on the label and its cohorts to find the best tunes for the radio, since the moments where Destiny's Child sound the best are when the group is not vying for airplay. When the group swings for the bleachers, Beyoncé oversells the song, rivaling Christina Aguilera in the diva sweepstakes. There are moments where the group makes it work, but this is a truly uneven record, bouncing between appealing mid-tempo soul numbers and hard-sell feminist anthems, where the ambition of Beyoncé and her cohorts is too naked. You can hear them work on "Nasty Girl," as they appropriate the theme from Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It," then inexplicably borrowing "Tarzan Boy" for the chorus. You can hear them trying to take Andy Gibb's "Emotion" slow, attempting to give it emotional resonance, yet such heartfelt overtures are toppled by the arrogant "Gospel Medley," where their secular pyrotechnics sound mannered, not inspired. Each of these are intended to give Destiny's Child a different level of depth -- a pan-cultural, knowing appropriation of pop's past, balanced by a chart-savvy cover of a pop classic, plus a showy display of prowess. Each of these steps are calculated, as is the album itself. It's a record that tries to be a bold statement of purpose, but winds up feeling forced and artificial. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 25, 2000 | Columbia

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released January 1, 2001 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released September 7, 1999 | Columbia

With their second album, Writing's on the Wall, Destiny's Child still suffers from slightly uneven songwriting, but it's nevertheless an assured step forward for the girl group. Not only are they maturing as vocalists, they are fortunate to work with such skilled, talented producers as Kevin "Shekspere" Biggs, Rodney Jerkins, Dwayne Wiggins, Chad Elliot, Daryl Simmons, and Missy Elliott, who all give the quartet rich, varied music upon which to work their charm. So, even when the album fails to deliver memorable songs, it always sounds alluring, thanks to the perfect combination of vocalists and producers. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 25, 2005 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

An honest title for this disc would be Several #1's, a Bunch of Top Tens, and a Couple New Songs, but #1's obviously has a greater -- if false -- ring to it. #1's isn't formatted any differently than scores of other anthologies packaged in time for the holiday shopping season, but it's also timely in that it comes after four Destiny's Child albums, all of which produced a handful of hits and roughly twice as much filler. Few problems could be had with the track selection. Containing each of Destiny's Child's charting singles, with the exception of "Brown Eyes" and the inconsequential "8 Days of Christmas," the disc reaffirms that Destiny's Child released some of the biggest R&B singles of the late '90s and early 2000s. For instance, you didn't have to be a fan of R&B, or even music, to cross paths with the likes of "Survivor" -- an overblown song with a form of success that had more to do with its mega-anthem quality and opportunistic title (the show of the same title was extremely popular at the time). As strategic as Destiny's Child were, they still have enough substance in their discography to place them as one of the best R&B groups of the '90s and early 2000s. Though they didn't follow the previous top female R&B group, TLC, with nearly as much brilliance or finesse, they've left behind several singles that will be remembered for something other than their mainstream success. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Pop - Released October 30, 2001 | Music World Music - Columbia

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Pop - Released October 30, 2001 | Music World Music - Columbia

Destiny's Child's holiday album, 8 Days of Christmas, is pretty much what you'd expect -- divided equally between strained hip-hop-soul and smooth adult contemporary pop directly targeted at a crossover paradise. Since holiday albums have to have a hook, or at least one novelty to draw in an audience, there's the title track that recasts "12 Days of Christmas" as a modern, commercialistic, sub-hip-hop rant. Things get better than that, as the tailor-made "Winter Paradise" works much better, as does "A 'DC' Christmas Medley," which may be a little formulaic, but appealing. Then, there's a huge stretch that features the individual members of Destiny's Child singing a carol apiece (plus "Little Drummer Boy," which features Solange, who isn't in the group) -- good way of prepping for the inevitable solo careers, I suppose. Then, the album pretty much runs out with ballads and songs that emphasize some of the more irritating aspects of Destiny's Child (the skittering verses of "Spread a Little Love on Christmas Day," for instance, complete with its chorus of "I got your back on Christmas Day"), as well as their crossover attempts, including a version of "Opera of the Bells." So, yes, this is uneven, as much as any holiday album is uneven, and even if it lacks anything distinctive, it's still Destiny enough to please many hardcore fans. Ultimately, it doesn't really feel all that distinctive one way or another, which may be worse than being really bad or really great. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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R&B - Released February 21, 2000 | Columbia

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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released December 21, 2000 | Columbia

Striking while the iron is hot, Destiny's Child presents its third full-length release in less than a year, following Survivor (May 2001) and 8 Days of Christmas (October 2001). An album of remixes is a profit-taking exercise by definition, but one needs only to gaze back a few weeks from this disc's release to Jennifer Lopez's J to the L-O! The Remixes, which went straight in at number one, to see that the profits can be considerable. And in this case, they deserve to be. Destiny's Child ascended to superstar status in 1999-2000 behind a series of well-produced number one hits that gave them the opportunity to trumpet female self-assertion in a material world. In contrast to TLC, the more street-savvy girl group whose niche they usurped, they were a triumph of packaging over musical substance, an appropriate focus at a time when teen pop was ascendant. At first glance, This Is the Remix does not retreat from that stance; the singers appear on the cover applying makeup. And certainly the album is all about packaging -- actually, repackaging. Typically, the word "remix" is far too modest to describe what such knob twiddlers as the Neptunes, Rockwilder, and Timbaland have undertaken. Retaining only the barest bones of the original recordings, if that, they have built wholly new musical tracks and brought in a bevy of guests, including Wyclef Jean, Da Brat, Jermaine Dupri, and Lil Bow Wow, and for the most part the results are all to the good. Fans may buy this album thinking of it as a de facto greatest-hits set, but if so they will be surprised to find that, for example, Rockwilder's take on "Bootylicious" sounds almost nothing like the version they heard on the radio. And these versions aren't only different; usually, they're better than the originals. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Soul/Funk/R&B - Released August 29, 2002 | Columbia

An "X2" release from Sony BMG, this set combines the first two albums by Destiny's Child: Destiny's Child (1998) and The Writing's on the Wall (1999). Both albums went platinum (the latter did so eight times over) and feature the number one Billboard Hot 100 singles "Bills, Bills, Bills" and "Say My Name," as well as the commercially successful "Jumpin', Jumpin'" and "Bug A Boo." For those who would prefer to stick to a singles compilation that covers more of the group's career, there's the adequate #1's, released by Columbia in 2005. Odds are strong that this set won't be much (if at all) cheaper than the cost of purchasing the two albums individually. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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R&B - Released July 4, 2000 | Columbia

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Pop - Released September 26, 2000 | Columbia

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R&B - Released June 15, 1999 | Columbia

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Pop - Released December 5, 2000 | Columbia - Sony Music Soundtrax

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Pop - Released December 31, 2005 | Sony Urban Music - Columbia

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Pop - Released July 6, 2001 | Columbia

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R&B - Released February 17, 1998 | Columbia

Destiny's Child isn't quite just another debut album from an R&B girl group. The quartet worked with Wyclef Jean and Jermaine Dupri among others, and their voices sound beautiful together. Still, much of the album sounds indistinguishable from all the other female groups out there. When Destiny's Child does sound different, as on the single "No, No, No, Pt. 2," they're more than competent. © John Bush /TiVo